tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 5, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST
genuine and we know you're seeking solutions, that was outlined very sincerely this morning, when he met with jack and the rest of the team and i hope you get the same sense and commitment from us as we engage with you. there aren't a lot of wall flowers in here, we're eager for a two-way exchange nonetheless and hopefully your takeaway will be a useful purpose in the dialogue so i'm shortening up my speech significantly so mr. president, thank you again for joining us today, we'd love to hear from you. [ applause ] >> well, good morning, everybody. it is great to see awful you. many of you have had a chance to see individually or in small groups over the last several months but it's good to be back at the business roundtable. jim, thanks for your leadership.
originally my team had prepared some remarks, they always get nervous when i'm out there on my own, never know what i might say, but given the dialogue that we had the last time, i thought it was useful for me to abbreviate my remarks, speak off the cuff at the top and spend most of our time just having a conversation. let me begin by saying that all of you in this room are not just business leaders, not just ceos of your companies but you're also economic leaders and thought leaders in this country, and i recognize that all of you have an enormous investment not only in your own companies but in the well-being of america, there are a lot of patriots in this room and people who care deeply about not only your bottom lines but also the future of this country. you've shown that over the last
four years, we've gone through as difficult an economic period as we've seen in most of our lifetimes, and we've emerged not yet where we need to be, but we've certainly made progress and the reason we've made progress in part has been because of the outstanding management and productivity and gains and efficiencies and xet i haveness that you've been able to achieve in each and every one of your companies. as i've said it to the small groups let me repeat it to the large group. i am passionately rooting for your success because if the companies in this room are doing well, then small businesses and medium sized businesses up and down the chain are doing well. if the companies in this room are doing well, then folks get jobs, consumers get confidence, and we're going to be able to compete around the world. the good news is that, despite
the extraordinary challenges we've seen over the last four years, there is progress in some key sectors of our economy. we've seen housing finally begin to bounce back for the first time and that has an enormous ripple effect throughout the economy. consumer confidence is as high as it's been. many of you over the last two or three years have experienced record profits or near record profits and have a lot of money in plants and equipment and hire folks. obviously globally, the economy is still soft. europe is going to be in the doldrums for quite some time, asia is not charging forward and some of the emerging markets are not charging forward as quickly as they were maybe a few years ago, but i think all of you recognized and many of you told me is that everybody's looking to america, because they
understand if we're able to put forward a long-term agenda for growth and prosperity that's broad-based here in the united states, that confidence will not just increase here in the united states, it will increase globally and we can get the virtuous cycle that i think all of us have been waiting for and want to see. what's holding us back right now ironically is a lot of stuff that's going on in this town, and i know that many of you have come down here to try to see, is there a way that we can break through the log jam, and go ahead and get things done and i'm here to tell you that nobody wants to get this done more than me. i know you've gotten a lot of briefings but let me describe where the situation is right now with respect to our fiscal situation, both what the students are but what also the challenges are.
i campaigned over the last year on the idea that we need to make sure that this economy is growing, and that we're providing ladders of opportunity -- >> unfortunately we just lost the shot there of the business roundtable, the president just getting into the meat of the matter right now, the fiscal cliff issue that's taking a lot of the oxygen out of the room in washington, d.c. i understand we have the shot back up. let's go back to the president. no audio right now? can we show the president? he's actually taken to holding a hand mike so hopefully they'll get the audio issue figured out but we have congressman debbie wasserman schultz 1257bing by, the chair of the dnc and was listening like all of us were to the president and hopefully we'll get the audio issue revolved. congresswoman, good to have you with us. >> thanks, thomas. >> just as we were about to hear what the president was saying with regards to what's taking place in washington, d.c., with
you and your colleagues we lost the audio. the vitriol is well established on both sides. the president and john boehner have reportedly not even taken time to speak to each other when face-to-face yesterday at a white house christmas event but it seems both sides can agree that the sky is blue on the one issue when keeping tax cuts where they are for the middle class. >> right. >> why can't we get that one step accomplished and maybe move on to step two which is a bigger and bolder plan? >> that's what congressional democrats and president obama would like to see happen, and we have a discharge petition, which would bring the bill that has been sent from the senate and pass the senate overwhelmingly sent to the house, take that bill up and give, extend the tax breaks to the middle class and give certainty to the middle class as we move to, continue to move into the holiday season. all of the tax rates expire
december 31st and we can deal with the tax breaks for the wealthiest most fortunate americans and others to avoid the fiscal cliff between now and december 31st but take what we agree on which is that the middle class tax cuts should be extended and tax rates should not go up for the middle class, let's do that now. the republicans refuse to do that thus far, which is sort of baffling. even some of their senior members like tom cole from oklahoma have said let's take that deal, but let's pass the tax cuts for the middle class and we're talking about making sure that tax rates for 98% of all americans and 97% of all businesses. it's a small percentage of individuals that make more than $250,000 a year that tax rates would go up just a little bit. we had an election, thomas, where americans had a clear choice and they chose and we need to make sure that we think a balanced approach that is fair, that doesn't throw the
middle class under the bus and that works mathematically. so far what we've seen from republicans in the house does not work in terms of reducing the deficit. >> congresswoman, we are watching the president on our screen at the business roundtable. there was an issue with the poll microphone for the president's address so they've handed him a different microphone, the leaders inside this room can hear exactly what the president is saying but his audio is too low for us to be able to share it with everybody. we're still working on that. when we see and hear about the fact this two-step plan getting something done for the middle class by the end of the year, does this set up the scenario we live in a perpetual state of fiscal cliff loopness, this is the same old dog and pony show every six months to a year fighting over the same things and not big, bold leadership? >> i hope not, certainly if it's not left up to president obama
and congressional democrats. president obama proposed $4 trillion in deficit reduction, he has a balanced approach to take care of the middle class and that they have the certainty that they need that we make spending cuts that are significant, that make sense, and that we maintain the things that are going to keep us competitive globally like the central funding for education and innovation, and at the same time we also make sure we ask wealthiest americans to pay a little bit more and when it comes to our tax policy that if you work hard and play by the rules in america that everybody has a chance to succeed and that's why you've seen ceos from across the country sign on to that notion, with president obama, saying it's okay if we raise rates a little bit for folks who make more than $250,000 a year. the world is not going to come to an end. there are republican and conservative analysts and thought leaders like bill kristol who have said that.
why the republicans in the house who really are still very entrenched with their tea party mentality have not yet understood that, and are still dug in, is really frustrating. >> the president has just said and i'm getting this reiterated to me from people who can actually hear what he's saying but saying to the leaders he's not opposed to tax reform. >> right. >> for you and the constituents that you represent, what is it for concession you're willing to bring to the table. what are you willing to give republicans the wiggle room that they need to provide something to their base to say okay we did not totally lose out on this deal? >> i'll give you an example of what we've already embraced, more than $1 trillion in spending cuts in the debt ceiling deal from last summer, almost $1.5 trillion in spending cuts only with no revenue at all, even though democrats really felt strongly then that we needed a balanced approach in
cuts. we have embraced that. we've come to the table with a package that is balanced, that makes sense giving us enough deficit reduction to secure the middle class tax cuts, make sure they have certainty to provide significant spending cuts which we know they'll need to reduce the deficit, to address tax reform and to make sure that in the mix of this deal, you are going to have to have the tax rates go up on the wealthiest, most fortunate americans, the top 2% of americans who make more than $250,000 a year. keep in mind tax rates don't go up on the first $250,000 so we're only talking about tax rates going up on the income above $250,000. the bottom line this is about fairness, any deal has to be fair, it also has to work mathematically. what the republicans have put on the table so far with closing deductions and tax reform does not give us enough deficit reduction thomas to give that certainty to the middle class
and maintain their tax rates. it doesn't work. >> congresswoman, i understand you are going to be seeking another term as chair of the dnc. you certainly have the -- >> the president has asked me to do that, yes. >> so i know you're excited and will you take up that challenge and mantle. >> i'm looking forward to it. >> there's a possibility that reince priebus might not stick around as the rnc chair. does he have your support to stick around as the rnc chair? >> you know, i've enjoyed a spirited relationship with chairman priebus and i'm sure no matter who the republicans decide to choose as their chairman, whether it's chairman priebus or another individual that that spirited relationship will continue. >> ever the diplomat, congresswoman, thank you for your time. in a couple of minutes i'll speak with former congressman j.c. watts of speaking about the possibility of becoming the rnc
chair. also more on the suspect in the new york subway death, what that suspect is saying about the shocking incident caught on camera, we'll hear from the photographer as well. and our big question, 27 days to go. will house speaker boehner fold on the fiscal cliff? tweet me or find me on facebook. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th, five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do. i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan.
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okay so in washington today an all-out battle is playing out for the heart and soul of the republican party. first the war of words over the fiscal cliff with hard core conservatives pushing boehner to hold firm on tax cuts and yesterday a livid or vivid illustration of the split was on display when bob dole wheeled himself on to the floor he once led that would ban
discrimination against people with disabilities but the world war ii vet saw his efforts go down in bitter defeat due to several members of his own party voting know. joining me is congressman j.c. watts of illinois. what happened to the unity once displayed in the party not just the tax issue but not being able to pass something that was a republican idea like the u.n. disabilities treaty championed by folks like former senate majority leader dole, former president george h.w. bush what happened? >> thomas, i've been traveling the last couple of days and i've not seen all the details of what happened there, but obviously the republican party we're at a time of trying to reorganize we've had our heads handed to us a couple of times and national elections 2008 and 2012 and you know, there's some wounds, some sensitivities and right now i think the party's trying to
navigate a day at a time, and the policy arena, in the policy arena a lot of those sensitivities come out and in a sense i think the party is trying to find its way now. >> john boehner has been getting pushback from mcconnell over tax cut issues. if tax cuts for the wealthy is the president's red line and doesn't appear to be willing to bend on that and just had an election where the american people used a federalized voice to send a mandate that they wanted the leadership president obama would commdemonstrate in second term because he ran on the issue, isn't it something speaker bainer can get through, get enough republicans to stomach this and avoid pushing everyone to the cliff, all the drama that surrounds this? >> speaker boehner is obviously in a tough position and trying
to provide leadership in a sensitive and difficult time in the party's history, and there was surely, i surely agree with you, thomas, that the president was reelected, but also re-election happened for the republican majority in the house of representatives, and there's a world view out there in terms of what the president believes that says that we need more spending, we are are government is the solution but i also remind you there's a world view that says we don't have a revenue problem. we have a spending problem, and that we should bring spending under control, obviously when you send proposals to the white house and the white house sends proposals to the house, there's no detail in those proposals, then we're still in the batter's box. we've not even gotten on base so i would encourage the president to send some details if he says
$1.6 trillion more in revenue and we don't want to do anything on the entitlements and we'll do something on entitlements but don't want to propose or tell you what they are, then that makes it awfully difficult to come to the negotiating table and i remind republicans and democrats it's awfully difficult to, you know, get an agreement or to have confidence in handshake if you're trying to do it with your fist closed. >> trust but verify is the old phrase. >> that's true. >> this morning minority leader nancy pelosi highlighted the diversity of the committee chairs on the democratic side of the house, women and minorities well represented there. last week republicans were lambasted for appointing all white nearly all male committee chairs. has the republican party learned the lessons from the election or do they risk paying the price in the next one? >> well, thomas, forget about
the committee chairs. i think the diversity and inclusion and outreach, i think it begins at the grassroots level and i've been pretty critical and vocal over the last two or three weeks and i think that every single republican in this country ought to be concerned about what's happened to us in the last two election cycles in the presidential race, and we lost with every -- we have lost with every demographic out there except for white men and i've been saying for 20 years that we've got to do a better job with nontraditional constituencies and we can't expect to have diversity in our committee chairs when we've got our republican party chairman that i don't know, that i don't have a relationship with, and so if i don't know him, how do we
expect joe six-pack black guy or joe six-pack working white guy or joe six-pack working hispanic or joe six-pack small black business owner, small white business owner, i have no confidence they know him so those things should happen, those type of initiatives and establishing deeper relationships with those demographics or non-traditional constituencies should happen at the republican national committee. when you see it happening there i think you will eventually see it filter through in those committee chairs. i have concern about the committee chairs but i have a concern we don't have deeper relationships with nontraditional constituencies through the republican national committee which is where this should happen. >> do you not support reince priebus if he were to run to be chairman again and is that a job
you're interested in and you would run for the top job at the rnc? >> well, i would submit to you that this is much broader than j.c. watts or chairman priebus, but at the same time i would say to you, thomas, if any ceo or any head coach or any pastor would have delivered the results that we got on november 6, where we were wrong in every category, we lost with every single demographic, we actually lost ground, that ceo would be fired, that head coach would be fired so i don't think that the republican national committee can run. i'm not so sure i understand the chairman has 120, 140 votes out of 168 votes. that tells me that the rnc probably isn't ready for the kind of change that i would be
proposing. it tells me that we continue to grade our own test and if you continue to grade your own test, you continue to make a good grade, and so i think we've got to take a serious look at where we are as a party and look at what has happened to us in the last couple elections and i think there's enough fault to go around for everybody, but at the same time i do believe that the republican national committee, the place where all of these things, these type of outreach efforts, these type of relationships where they should be built, i think it should be in that institution. >> we shall see how it goes. just to shorten your answer, i think that's a no, i don't support priebus and no, i'm not running. >> well -- i've kind of found myself in a whirlwind over the last five days and this thing has taken on a life of its own. >> that's how these things do. >> i am speaking to you as a republican, not as a candidate for rnc. >> thank you so much for your
time. i appreciate it. i want to bring in our power panel, perry bacon, ari melber and republican strategist alice stuart. alice, i want to jump in straight off of the remarks of j.c. watts. doesn't seem he supports reince priebus in the head of the rnc, they have a diversity issue of what the brand the republican party needs to march into the future. do you agree there might need to be new leadership at the top of rnc? >> that was a great interview with korngman watts. he made a great point not so much with leadership but the lessons we learn from this election in terms of reaching out to grassroots. there are meetings under way what the party can do specifically with regard to immigration and including more women and minorities and young people. those are the key things reaching out in terms of the grassroots level that's critically important to do. reince priebus had success in terms of the relationships that
were built in washington and across the country, on the down ballot railses and the successes we had in congress and some of the down ballot races, those are just as critical as what we saw at the top of the ticket. >> your reaction, what do you think should happen at the rnc? watts pointed out reince priebus has a majority of the votes to stay put but watts could emerge. >> j.c. was speaking as diplomatically as he could and you shortened his answer. if you read through the tea leaves of what we heard on your program he was saying very clearly as a republican, we cannot continue the same failed policies, that starts with priebus and extends out to a lot of other leadership in the pear so you got to do that. to alice's point, representation and policy have to go together. it is a huge problem in america in 2012 the way it looks today to have what you put up on the screen, all those committee chairs. i'm not casting apersians on any individual one but sooner or
later when you look at thing agapt even if we didn't do this on purpose we have to take a step back. the republican party practiced a type of affirmative action, because it has recruited candidates from diverse backgrounds from more women for political benefit. great. they have to meet that with policy, talk about immigration or affirmative action, up before the supreme court this year where they've been silent or giving other people a chance. it's not enough to welcome women and minorities in political leadership positions because it helps you if you don't open the doors to them throughout society. >> perry, seems like the last couple of days the story picked up steam for j.c. watts. what do you hear from sources inside washington, d.c., whether or not reince priebus is the person to head up the rnc or do they need somebody that brings diversity? >> my understanding is priebus is popular so far and has the majority of the folks. priebus starts out with a lead,
people like him. the republicans had a black chairman in 2009 and 2010, michael steele, of course who our viewers are familiar with. the thing is he had plenty of ideas diversifying the party and the republicans more broadly ignored him. it's not clear to me if picking j.c. watts matters if they ignore his advice, getting more young and hispanic and black votes and listen, it's not just the party chairman. the party chairman is a weak office in and of itself. the party has to make more strides in a lot of ways on policy, on candidates, on tone, no chairman the candidate like mitt romney giving gifts to people that's a big problem the chairman can't solve. >> you can lead an elephant to water but can't make it drink. we're back more right after this. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios!
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our members believe strongly that raising tax rates will hurt the economy. closing loopholes especially on those who are wealthy is a better way to raise this revenue than raising rates. >> i believe 26 reasonable republicans willing to put their promise to serve their constituents ahead of their pledge to norquist. i say to my friend john boehner you control matters on the floor, no one else does. you have the ability and you're the only one that has the ability to put this on the floor for a vote. he should do that. that would be the american way. >> house speaker john boehner and senate majority leader harry reid on the fiscal cliff standoff. "the new york times" reporting gop leaders are considering extending tax cuts for the fiscal class to avert the fiscal cliff but if that is the case republicans are staying very tight lipped about it.
joining me is senator ben carden from maryland a member of the budget committee and the committee on finance. good to have you here and you have said one thing you want from these talks is to show the markets and to show leaders, that leaders have the situation under control there, in your estimation, how would you say that's going so far? >> well predictability is very important. i think the first step is exactly what leader reid said. if we can get predictability on the taxable income below $250,000, everyone knows that's under current rates and also give us the additional revenue we need on that income above $250,000, it shows us that we are moving towards a balanced way to deal with the fiscal cliff. it would be an incredible lift, i think, to confidence in the markets. >> so with raising revenue also comes along with that what the right would like to see, you know, in terms of raising
revenue to the spending cuts and president obama says he is flexible on entitlement reform in the past we have heard he might be open to raising the medicare eligibility age even possibly reducing cost of living increases for social security benefits, where do you stand on this, assuming that republicans let go of tax cuts for the wealthy? >> well, i think we need to do both. i've said we need to raise revenues, we also need to reduce spending. we started this debate after the simpson-bowles commission came in with the recommendations, we've already done $1 trillion in spending cuts on the discretionary side. we need the revenues and additional savings. we understand that. i think the easiest next step is let's pass the bill that's in the house, that gives confidence and a good deal of the revenues we need, doesn't give us all the revenues, we'll look for revenues and speaker boehner talks about closing loopholes we need to look at that and we need to look at ways we can bring down health care costs that
could save medicare, medicaid and private sector expenses. >> the white house communications director dan pfeiffer said this is a choice of the republican party if they are willing to do higher rates on the wealthy there say lot we can talk about. if not they'll push us over the cliff. do you think it would be okay if the middle class tax cut could go through the end of this year and talk about the big issues on the other side in 2013. >> first, no one wants to go off this fiscal cliff. that would be a self-imposed damage to our economy. number two, the next step is the enactment of the bill that's in the house, dealing with the tax relief for all income below $250,000, providing the revenue base to have that type of
confidence and discussions between the two sides. the next step let's get that bill passed. i'd like to see us go further before the lame duck is over and be able to have a framework in place to get additional deficit reduction. >> you were part of this emotional appearance from bob dole on the floor yesterday voicing his support for the u.n. disability treaty yet even his presence there and the emotional images as we see him on the floor there in a wheelchair was not enough to get some republicans to vote for it. senator kerry calling it the saddest day he's seen in decades. the measure failed. what is your reaction to that and what is the excuse to the american people? >> i am a member of the senate foreign relations committee, we added to the treaty ratification there would be no changes in u.s. laws required by the ratification of this treaty.
this was acknowledged by america that other countries have to come up to our standards helping americans when they travel abroad. i don't understand why after our leadership with the americans with disabilities act we have shown the world that we believe that people with disabilities need to have the same rights. now we've sort of backed away from an international treaty that said that. >> senator ben cardin, always nice to have you on the hour. quick programming note, senator john kerry will join andrea mitchell this afternoon to discuss the senate's failure to pass the u.n. disabilities treaty, coming up right at 1:00, "andrea mitchell reports." how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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the victim. the photographer defended his actions this morning on "today." >> if this happened again with the same circumstances, whether i had a camera or not and i was running towards it, there is no way i could have rescued mr. han. if i was in a reachable distance, i would have grabbed him and tried to pull him. >> new york city police say the suspect in the death has implicated himself after being brought in for questions yesterday. police have not released his name or announced any formal charges as of yet. other stories topping the news, mohamed morsi returned to the presidential palace after tens of thousands of protesters charged that complex yesterday. bad news for workers at citigroup, the bank is planning to cut 11,000 jobs worldwide in an effort to save $1.1 billion a year. congress now planning to restore lifelong secret service protection for former presidents, a response to growing national security
threats since 9/11. a new poll shows a split moaning americans on same-sex marriage but reverses the trend of the 55% who opposed same-sex marriage in '08 versus the 36% who supported it. police are looking for a 11-year-old leukemia patient seen being walked out of an arizona hospital with her mom. they say this may be a case of child endangerment because the catheter in her heart could become infected. and finally for you a spokesperson for the royal couple says the duchess of cambridge, kate middleton, is continuing to feel better after being admitted to the hospital on monday due to a severe bout of morning sickness and king edward hospital where kate is staying is issuing an apology for providing information about her condition to crank callers. this after two deejays from a radio station in australia convinced the hospital that they were queen elizabeth and prince charles. you can bank on elizabeth warren. warren will likely get a key spot on the senate banking
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bureau a democratic aide tells nbc news warren is "likely to join the senate banking committee" that panel helps regulate america's financial institutions and progressives say having her on that panel is a big victory. given the number of big businesses jockeying for facetime with the president at the end of the month there's questions about what kind of clout she's really going to have. msnbc contributor jimmy williams is here with more on why this appointment matters. this morning we're watching the business roundtable with the president meeting with the power brokers of our country. >> yes. >> mcnierney said there are no wall flowers in this room, elizabeth warren is no wall flower. the financial industry is "going nuts" we're told about this news. are a lot of ceos sitting down with the president trying to figure out damage control mode if that is really a possibility? >> i don't think first of all, any ceo or any banking ceo that
thought elizabeth warren was not going to get a seat on the banking committee was deluding himself or herself. she should go on the banking committee, she understands the banking law. guess who else will sit in front of her, joe manchin, the junior senator. she can try to screw over the banks as much as she wants. who will negate her vote, joe manchin, not by accident or mistake they did this. it's not so much that elitz bza warren is sitting on the banking committee, it's she has knowledge of and input and she's not going to fight the banks every step of the way. she's a freshman senator. they know her stance. if the banks are smart they'll reach out to her and find common ground and as a freshman senator she will make common ground with them. this is not a huge story she's going to the banking committee. >> what does the senate banking committee have to move?
>> the answer is not much, and that's not necessarily their fault. they did dodd-frank a couple years ago and they may tink around the edges with dodd-frank but senator johnson who is the chairman of south dakota is the chairman, he's probably going to retire. he has a republican, the former governor of south dakota, mike rounds announced he'll run against him and senator johnson probably will retire, if that's the case, you know, he will just have a very staid, quiet committee, we'll have hearings and do investigations and that will be all that they do for all intents and purposes. >> sounds so nice, doesn't it? >> it's a productive congress, right? >> msnbc contributor jimmy williams. thank you so much. up next, hillary in 2016? what the american public thinks about that one, after this. look in the mirror, they see more than themselves. so we celebrate our year-end with the "share the love" event.
get a great deal on a new subaru and 250 dollars goes to your choice of five charities. by the end of this, our fifth year, our total can reach almost 25 million dollars. it's a nice reflection on us all. now through january 2nd. bp has paid overthe people of bp twenty-threeitment to the gulf. billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting
wife spotted at the discount membership home near their la hoya, california, home. ann romney mentioned their trips to costco. they filled two carts worth of goodies, paper plate -- vice president biden is a card carrying member. he went shopping at a new store in washington, d.c. if the 2016 presidential election were held today, secretary of state hillary clinton would be a shoo-in. according to a new "washington post"/abc news poll 57% would support clinton to succeed president obama. 37% would not. ted nugent weighs in on the fiscal cliff fiasco something he said we drove off a long time ago. he writes in "the washington times" social security, medicaid and medicare spending needs to be slaughtered and let's stop
the insanity of the right to vote of any american on welfare. once they get off well taer and are self-sustaining they get their right restored. no american on welfare should have the right to vote for tax increases on those americans working and paying taxes to support them. and "the daily show's" jon stewart says maybe we should go off the fiscal cliff. >> back and forth of offers. it's pretty clear the republicans aren't going to come to the table with anything reasonable. i'll be the one to say it, i know it will be disastrous and doom our economy for years to come, let's go over the [ bleep ] cliff. fine. just leave the negotiating tables and send us over the cliff. you know why? at least for a few seconds, it will feel like we're flying. >> all right. that's going to wrap things up for me today. thanks for your time. see you back here tomorrow at 11:00 eastern. joining me republican congresswoman diane black, atlanta mayor reid and on the
power panel "time" magazine's karen tum multi. karen finney and republican strategist robert trainham. "now" with alex wagner is coming up. >> we have a spicy enchilada today. lawmakers are channeling their inner publicists in the fiscal cliff negotiations. that pr aside, are we any closer to common ground? and it if all this sounds familiar, it is. we will talk deal making and deja vu with ben jaman wallace walls, and the ranking member of the house budget committee congressman chris van hollen. plus liz wet bar ren's return to washington and her role as a wall street enforcer and activist kerry kennedy joins us for a discussion about human rights and her father's legacy when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it!
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cliff theater piece begins today. it is wednesday, december 5th, and this is "now." joining me today benjamin wallace wells of "new york" magazine, the "washington post's" melinda headenberger, msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director karen finney and senior national correspondent for bloomberg business week josh green. round three has begun. two days after the republican fiscal cliff counter offer, both sides are coming out swings. speaker john boehner defended his proposal this morning, adopting a page from the dem's fairness playbook. >> the revenues we're putting on the table are going to come from, guess who? the rich. closing loopholes, especially on those who are wealthy, is a better way to raise this revenue than raising